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I own a restaurant, and someone copied me, what can i do?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by karammkdd, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. #1
    Hey guys. So to sum everything up, i own a restaurant in Toronto, which is doing fairly well. I fired one of my workers,because they lacked some needed skills. A month later, he opens his own restaurant, which is a rip off of mine. Almost same menu items, with different names, same concept overall. Is there any thing i can do, like sue him??
    SEMrush
     
    karammkdd, Jan 25, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. iowadawg

    iowadawg Prominent Member

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    #2
    Check with an attorney in Toronto.
    He/She could give you an answer better than any answer you will ever get on a forum.
     
    iowadawg, Jan 25, 2014 IP
    ryan_uk and briguy like this.
  3. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #3
    I do not think it would be a crime for him to sell the same type of food that you sell...
    however, if he has taken your own recipes to make that food, then that could be a problem....
    then you have to ask are they yours, did you come up with all the recipes or were they collected
    over a period of time from other food sources. You probably can make pepsi a few
    different ways, but we all know there is only one true recipe for pepsi....If I made my
    own pepsi, then that would not be a crime, of course I can not sell it as pepsi, but if i
    ran off with their recipe to make my product, do you think pepsi would sue me?

    then you have to think about it this way, do you make enough money
    to carry a lawsuit? and if it drags out, it could put you both out of business.

     
    dscurlock, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  4. briguy

    briguy Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Personally, I would try a "scare tactic"... get a lawyer to draw up some "I will sue your azz, so hard that your great grandkids will be paying it off" letter.. and leave like that for awhile! See how he reacts! But I wouldn't worry to much about this new competition.. you have the name, the history and the clientele.

    Plus (can't remember the exact statistics) so wasn't it like 1 out of 100 businesses make it to their 5 year in Canada! So kinda wild odds anyway!

    You can also get proactive... spend more money on promotion (online and offline) maybe even try to get the "Leafs" to eat at your establishment!

    Good luck..eh!
     
    briguy, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  5. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #5
    I think unless he took your trade name or branding you are out of luck.

    If someone opens a burger place and sell a double burger and fries McDonlads can't sue them unless they call the double burger "big mac" and call the "restaurant" McDonalds.
     
    averyz, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  6. karammkdd

    karammkdd Peon

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    #6
    Alright thanks for the help guys
     
    karammkdd, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  7. Nigel Lew

    Nigel Lew Notable Member

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    #7
    While I understand the anger you may have for this situation... its a waste of energy.

    Think of it like a clone of a website. Sure, you can get some idiot to clone facebook or twitter for you but it is simply destined to fail.

    Its not safe to underestimate your customer base or the public foodies. Folks will figure it out soon enough and it will only serve to strengthen your brand.

    Nigel
     
    Nigel Lew, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  8. karammkdd

    karammkdd Peon

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    #8
    ^ good point. The thing that bugs me is that he gets his supplies from the same suppliers, and he is using all my recipes which took time and effort to produce. For now I am just going to ignore him, Originals are always better then copies.If anything else happens, i will contact an attorney etc, for now i will just forget about it ;p
     
    karammkdd, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  9. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #9
    You just cant trust anyone, then or now..

    How do you think facebook started...?
    By taking the code or parts of the code from someone that
    hired him to do their project, and then he claimed it as his own or
    he used parts of their code in his site, or something like that...
    anyway, as a result, a lawsuit was filed, took many years to settle.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Facebook

    or how about when facebook tricked one of its co-founders
    in signing papers; in reality, he made his stocks worthless...
    if i am not mistaken, the co-founder sued....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_Saverin
    The Social Network

    fact! Facebook is not known to be a moral company.

    how do you think other sites got famous when they could
    not produce their own quality content, and took it from other sites...
    and such practices are still going on today, content stealing...


     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    dscurlock, Jan 27, 2014 IP
    matt_62 likes this.
  10. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #10
    I think if you fired him for being useless, that he might not last that long. That said, I would be worried that if has copied you so well, and does a piss-poor job at running the restaurant, that others might feel that your restaurant is the same. I would definitely be finding a local lawyer and seeing if a cease and desist letter is appropriate.

    With your suppliers... can you lean on them to avoid him, or find other suppliers? It is not good if your suppliers can report back to your competitor and give them an update on how much produce you are taking (and I have seen this done, not for food but for something else).

    @dscurlock, yea pulling a facebook is common, kinda makes it hard for me to hire people to do apps as its just too easy for them to pull a facebook on you.
     
    matt_62, Jan 28, 2014 IP
  11. IG2010

    IG2010 Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Did macdonald ever sued burger king or any other burger bar for selling burgers?

    A good advertising would do the job like


    We create delicous meals we don't copy them. you don't point your finger at someone but everything is said ;)
     
    IG2010, Jan 28, 2014 IP
  12. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #12
    IG2010, I think if you made a restaurant that looked nearly identical to macdonalds, to the point where you could not clearly tell if it was or was not a macdonalds, then I am fairly certain they can sue you. If you see macdonalds, and burgerking, each have different themes.
    Its like the company "3m" once sued everyone that had a website that had three MMM's in the domain name as they believed that customers might think that a domain such as "mmmums" (or whatever variant) was an official 3m website. It is crazy. But yes, in 3m's case, this was trademark infringement. Which doesnt help the OP
     
    matt_62, Jan 28, 2014 IP
  13. IG2010

    IG2010 Well-Known Member

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    #13
    matt have you seen any picture of actual restaurant? so far, i haven't, I take into account that the other restaurant doesn't look like OP restaurant, same concept, doesn't mean, being copied, same menu with different name is not worth either since hundreds if not thousands of restaurant sell the same dish with different names on it. It can be the same color, the same door and the same bar, if something is different in that restaurant then you are loosing your time with legal stuff. Even more if the other restaurnt is not even in the same area, they won't even be bothered, again, a very good sarcastic advertising has hundreds of chances to attrack people and make them flee from the other as just like you said, if the other guy was pretty useless, people will quickly make the difference.
     
    IG2010, Jan 28, 2014 IP
  14. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #14
    my god @matt_62, who in the hell would want to be like BigM, your goal should be set higher then that....

     
    dscurlock, Jan 28, 2014 IP
  15. kr200

    kr200 Greenhorn

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    #15
    call the cops and hire a lawyer..
     
    kr200, Feb 18, 2014 IP
  16. sayjohn

    sayjohn Greenhorn

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    #16
    I think you can trademark registration and patent registration of your company, find legal consultants in your state. I hope they are sort this problem.
     
    sayjohn, Feb 26, 2014 IP
  17. Lex350

    Lex350 Notable Member

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    #17
    In America you can sue anybody for anything. Weather you win or lose is another story. Sounds like your screwed.
     
    Lex350, Mar 8, 2014 IP
  18. ash1ey82

    ash1ey82 Active Member

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    #18
    Contact a Lawyer, there is a very high chance you can shut down his restaurant, and if lucky get more money out of him.
     
    ash1ey82, Mar 15, 2014 IP
  19. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #19
    On what basis do you think there is a "very high chance" he can get it "shut down"? He mentions that they serve "almost" the same menu items. That is essentially what tons of restaurants do. There is no protection that I am aware of that would prevent anyone from trying to make a dish served in another restaurant. He is not using the same names for the dishes, what exactly do you think he is doing (and what law does it violate) that would get his restaurant to be shut down?
     
    browntwn, Mar 17, 2014 IP
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  20. legalbrain

    legalbrain Greenhorn

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    #20
    I am a Technology and IP Lawyer, assuming that " someone copied me" means that your restaurant's name or logo or branding has been used, then it is a case of " IP INFRINGEMENT" and you have a solid reason to approach the court and also claim damages from the person who is using your brand identity.

    Get in touch with a local attorney on how to proceed with the suit, however you can seek a cheaper online help to get an insight what are your options and it may be possible to stop the person using it without legal action.

    Perhaps I can provide you additional information if you would like.
     
    legalbrain, Mar 17, 2014 IP